Lets Take A Look At The Top 5 Greatest Sports Coaches in the State of Oregon
There have been a multitude of great coaches that have made a lasting impact on sports in the state of Oregon.
Some have gone down in their sport’s history for an astronomical winning record, others for leading their teams to multiple championships.
However, there have been some that purely get the nod for being great leaders. Inspiring sometimes even the most mediocre teams to greatness.
One man that possessed both qualities is Oregon football coach Mike Bellotti.
Respected as one of the best coaches in Pac-10 history, Bellotti spent 14 seasons with the Ducks from 1995 to 2008, amassing 116 victories, two Pac-10 championships and six bowl wins on his way to becoming the program’s all-time leader in wins.
His best season coming in 2001 when he led the Ducks to a 10-1 regular season record and debatably should have been in the BCS National Championship game.
Instead, the Ducks headed to the Fiesta Bowl where they dominated Colorado, 38-16.
While Bellotti ruled the gridiron, Slats Gill was a god among men on the hardwood.
In the 36-years he commanded Oregon State’s men’s basketball, his teams had just seven losing seasons. From 1929 to 1964, Slats established a 599-392 record while winning five Pacific Coast crowns, four additional Northern Division titles and reaching the Final Four in 1949 and 1963.
Toss in the 56-70 record of his baseball teams in the 1930s, and Gill recorded more coaching wins than anyone in OSU history.
Speaking of OSU baseball. Ralph Coleman has to be one of the best skippers the sport of baseball in the state of Oregon has ever seen.
Not only the second-longest serving coach in OSU history with 35 seasons to his credit, Coleman’s teams went 561-316-1 and won 10 pennants en route to the Beavers’ only trip to the College World Series.
Next on our list is Brian Shaw, coach of the West Coast Hockey League’s Portland Winterhawks.
Shaw was the team’s head coach for a number of seasons when they were the Edmonton Oil Kings, and later bought the team during the 1974-75 season, and moved them to Portland prior to the 1976-77 season, becoming the first major junior hockey team based in the United States.
He also served as the team’s general manager until 1992, before his passing in ’93.
Finally, we honor Portland Timbers coach Bobby Howe who was named the A-League Coach of the Year in 2001, after managing the Timbers to their best campaign to date.
The Timbers began the year as winners of six straight and finished the regular season with a 10-game unbeaten streak under the guidance of Howe, posting an 18-7-3 record as the top team in the regular season.
The Timbers blasted opposing goalkeepers, leading the league with 58 goals and a minus-28 goals-against count in their run to the conference semifinals that season.
In four years as head coach, Howe amassed a 59-40-11 record while making three trips to the postseason, and never finished with a losing record.